2 October 2019
This guidance was withdrawn on 31 January 2020. EU rules continue to apply to the movement of goods and trade between 1 February and 31 December 2020, while the UK and EU negotiate new arrangements. For current information, read a step-by-step guide to importing.
Importing for UK businesses who move goods from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, import VAT will be due on goods you move from Ireland to Northern Ireland at the relevant rate. This includes goods that:
- end their journey in Northern Ireland
- move through Northern Ireland on the way to Great Britain
- into Northern Ireland from any other country
- from Ireland directly to Great Britain
How to account for import VAT - if you are registered for VAT
You will need to account for import VAT on goods you move from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland on your normal periodic VAT return. This is similar to how you account for VAT on such imports now.
How to account for import VAT - if you are not registered for VAT
You will need to account for import VAT on goods you move from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland.
HMRC is developing a new online service which will let you do this on a quarterly import VAT return, rather than every time you import goods. You’ll be able to sign up for this service after Brexit.
You will not have to register for VAT or start charging VAT on your sales.
To prepare you should keep records of any goods you move from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland from 23:00 UK time on the date that the UK leaves the EU, including:
- receipts for goods
- records of transport costs directly associated with bringing the goods into Northern Ireland
- records of any excise goods (alcohol, tobacco and certain types of fuel)
Importing vehicles from Ireland to Northern Ireland
If you’re importing a vehicle from Ireland to Northern Ireland you will need to tell HMRC and may need to pay import VAT depending on the type of vehicle. You will need to do this within 14 days of the vehicle arriving in Northern Ireland.
You should contact the HMRC VAT helpline to get a Notification of Vehicle Arrival (NOVA1) form, which you should complete and return to HMRC.
HMRC will work out the import VAT due and tell you how to pay.
You should not use HMRC’s Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (NOVA) online service.
If you already use a secure registration scheme you do not need to change the way you register new vehicles.